by Akiela Xal
Copyright: The characters in this story are based upon characters created by either Renaissance Pictures/Universal, or by 20th Century Fox, the story is a retelling of a classic Christmas tale, but modified for fun. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit will be gained.
Violence: Only one tiny scene
Subtext: No, it’s maintext
Teaser: Is there really a Santa Claus? That’s exactly what attorney Morgan Gailey must prove just days before Christmas.
Started: December 6, 2007 Ended: December 15, 2007
Feedback: If you’ve got any, positive or negative, or if you’d like to see more to this story email me at email@example.com
by Akiela Xal
A nattily dressed older gentleman walked down the sidewalk. Every now and again, he would pause to view the festive decorations that were lightly dusted with new fallen snow. He swung an ornately decorated cane jauntily in one hand, but it was obvious from the bounce in his step that it was more for show than anything else.
“But Mooom… he’s got ‘em wrong,” said a young blonde boy pulling on his mother’s coat sleeve and pointing in the display window.
“What Freddie? What are you talking about?” asked his mother with a touch of exasperation in her voice.
“The reindeer, Mom. He’s got Cupid in the wrong spot and Donner should be on Santa’s right,” said the little boy crossing his arms and gazing up at his tall raven haired mother.
“You know madam, your son is quite right,” said the older gentleman peering over the top of the boy’s head at the display in the store window. “The store clerk has placed Cupid in Prancer’s spot and he does have Donner and Blitzen reversed,” he continued with a twinkle in his eyes as he glanced at the young boy’s mother.
The mother opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted by her son shouting, “Mom, Mom, he looks just like Santa Claus!”
Blue eyes gazed fondly down at her son as she answered, “Why yes, he does Freddie.”
Looking up at the older gentleman, the blonde boy asked, “What’s yer name, Mister?”
“Freddie!” cried an embarrassed mother.
“Oh, that’s quite alright madam,” said the bearded gentleman before hunkering down to be at eyelevel with the boy. “My name is Kris Kringle. What’s yours?”
“I’m Jimmy Gailey,” answered the boy poking a thumb at his chest. Seeing the look of surprise cross Kris’ face, Jimmy stepped up to the older gentleman and cupping his hand near the man’s ear whispered, “I’m named for my Grandfather. He’s Fred Gailey. I like my middle name better so I wanna be Jimmy, ‘cause I’m nothin’ like him.”
Smiling, Kris said, “Well, it’s nice to meet you Jimmy.” He looked up at the mother, “And you too, Mrs. Gailey.”
“Oh, Mom’s not married. She’s Ms Gailey, Gramma’s Mrs. Gailey,” said the boy with a snicker.
“That’s enough, young man.”
“But Mom, you said to always tell the truth.”
“Well, yes I did, but…”
“And it’s true, Mom. You always say that Gramma is Mrs. Gailey and you’re not,” Jimmy stated quite logically.
Changing the subject, Ms Gailey said, “I thought that you wanted to watch the parade? If we don’t get home soon, we’ll miss it.”
“Oh, man… we gotta hurry. See ya Mr. Kringle,” called Jimmy as he dragged his mother in the direction of their home.
Chuckling at the exchange, Kris continued on his way down the street. A few minutes travel found him at the staging area for the very parade that Jimmy had been so anxious to see, the Walker’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Walker’s was the biggest department store in the Greater Boston area and for the past 75 or more years had held a huge parade to usher in the Christmas season. Their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade culminated with the arrival of Santa Claus and the opening of their in-store Winter Wonderland.
Kris wandered around the staging area taking note of the plethora of musicians, acrobats, balloon wranglers, and of course the world famous floats. He was thoroughly enjoying himself until he came across the final float of the parade – Santa and his reindeer.
“Jingle bells… jingle bells... hic…” sang a very inebriated Santa in an off-key rendition of the famous Christmas Carol.
“Disgraceful! Simply disgraceful,” fumed Kris. “I say, sir. You should be ashamed of yourself. Imagine a drunken Santa Claus!”
“Well… a man’s gotta keep warm,” said the drunken Claus taking another swig from his hip flask.
Spotting a young man in an elf costume Kris asked, “Excuse me, do you happen to know who’s in charge here?”
“Sure Mister, Ms Walker’s in charge, she’s about a half a block down,” he replied pointing in the general direction of the elusive Ms Walker.
“Thank you,” Kris said, striding purposefully down the street. As he got to the indicated area a young woman turned suddenly into his path bumping into him.
“Oh, pardon me,” said Kris with a tip of his hat.
Looking up at Kris, the woman frowned and asked, “Why aren’t you in costume?”
“Excuse me?” asked a puzzled Kris. “Oh, you must be Ms Walker… I was just coming to find you to inform you of the disgraceful condition that your ‘so-called’ Santa Claus is in.”
“Yes, I am Rose Walker. What about our Santa Claus,” she asked as she hurried in the direction of the Santa float.
“I’m sorry to inform you that he’s quite drunk, madam,” said Kris as they came within view of the stumbling Santa. Just at that moment, the Claus in question tripped over a Little Drummer Boy and went crashing to the ground in a heap.
Rose took one look at the drunken man and came to a quick decision. “I’m sorry Dan, but your services will no longer be required today or in the future. Please leave.” She turned to Kris, “I know this is short notice, but would you mind terribly filling in on the float today? I don’t have time to call the agency and have them send another Santa Claus before the parade starts.”
“Why, I’d be delighted to,” answered Kris with a grin. He quickly donned the discarded Santa suit and climbed aboard the float.
“You know,” stated Rose, “We could use you in our Winter Wonderland if you’re interested, Mr…”
“Oh, call me Kris, and I’d be delighted to play Santa Claus for you.” And with that the float started on its way with the best Santa, Walker’s parade had seen in many years.
The elevator doors opened and a young blonde boy ran down the hall and started pounding on the door of apartment 3E. Before his mother could stop him the door was opened by a dark haired girl his own age.
“Hey, Susan, ya wanna come watch the parade in our place?”
Susan Walker smiled and turned to ask the tall, thin college student that was her nanny if she could. When the brunette agreed Susan followed Jimmy to his apartment.
Morgan Gailey let out a breath, “I don’t know what’s gotten into that boy today. Varia, will you please let Rose know that Susan is with us and remind her that Thanksgiving Dinner should be around four o’clock?”
“Sure thing, Ms Gailey.”
With that the older woman walked down the hall to her own apartment to find two seven-year-old children with their noses plastered to her living room window engrossed in the parade. She went into her kitchen to begin her dinner preparations to the sounds of the children commenting on the parade. The ever pragmatic Susan was discussing various points that only the daughter of the parade organizer would be likely to know.
“Oh, look Mom, it’s Santa Claus,” Jimmy suddenly shouted, his blue eyes growing round. He turned to his friend and asked, “Are you gonna go meet him at your Grampa’s store, Susan?”
“Mother says that Santa Claus is just a figment of people’s imagination and that we should believe in ourselves not some fairy tale. Fairy tales aren’t real, they’re just things people pin their hopes on and can blame when things don’t go their way.”
“Oh, really, Susan,” asked Morgan coming out of the kitchen wiping her hands on a towel. “I’d never say that your mother is wrong, but I think it is good for people to believe in Santa Claus and other things they’ve never seen. It’s called ‘faith’ and faith is a good thing. It’s what lets us know when things are worth waiting for,” she finished somewhat wistfully.
A few hours later Thanksgiving Dinner was well underway and Rose was enjoying her time with the Gaileys. She was regaling them with tales of her hectic morning organizing the parade. “And then, to make matters worse, I found out that the Santa that was supposed to be on the float was drunk as a skunk!”
“Oh, no. What did you do?” asked a concerned Morgan.
“Well as luck would have it, there was an older gentleman wandering around the staging area that looked quite a bit like the commercialized Santa. He even had a full white beard. I did the only thing I could do, I asked him if he would mind filling in,” Rose answered.
“He looks much better than last year’s, Mother.”
“Yes he does. I’ve asked him to take over in the store too. He certainly looks the part.”
A long line of children wound its way throughout Walker’s Department Store, some children waiting more patiently than others to give their Christmas wish lists to Santa Claus. Near the front of the line stood Morgan Gailey with both her son, Jimmy, and Susan Walker.
“And I want a Wii with a charging station,” finished an athletic young boy sitting on Santa’s lap.
Kris ignored the frantic head shaking of the boy’s mother in the background. “Well, Steven I just bet you’ll find everything you want under the tree come Christmas morning.” With that, the young boy scooted off to wait for his mother.
“Didn’t you see me shaking my head at you?” asked the redhead. “Walker’s doesn’t have one. Every store for 50 miles around is sold out,” she said in exasperation.
“Not quite,” said Kris taking a small notebook out of his pocket. “Toys We Got!” just received a shipment of them this morning. Why don’t you head over there and pick up Steven’s present before they sell out?” The bewildered woman took his advice.
The next child in line was a shy little brunette girl. In halting English, the child’s mother explained that they had recently moved to Boston from France and that her daughter knew very little English.
Kris smiled and in flawless French asked her if she would like to sit on his lap. “What is your name?”
“Noel, sir,” she said with a gap-toothed grin.
“Noel, such a pretty name,” Kris said. “You know, you are The First Noel I’ve spoken to this Christmas! Why don’t you tell me what you want and we’ll see what we can do about it.”
Standing next in line, Susan and Jimmy heard the entire exchange. “That’s pretty good,” Susan said her expression growing thoughtful, “Mother will be pleased that this year’s Santa can speak more than one language.”
Rose Walker was heading through the toy department on her way to check on her new Santa when she was stopped by a smiling mother and her son.
“Imagine, a big department store like Walker’s sending its customers other places when they’re out of stock on something.”
“Excuse me,” Rose stammered, “What do you mean?”
“Your Santa. I told him that you were out of what my son wants for Christmas, and he pulled out this little notebook and showed me exactly where I could find one. I don’t get it, but I like it. I’ve never really shopped here at Walker’s, but from now on I’m gonna be a regular customer.”
Rose looked through the Winter Wonderland display just in time to see her daughter sitting down on Santa’s lap. She was irritated. Morgan knows that I don’t want Susan believing in all this nonsense, so why on Earth would she bring Susan to see Santa Claus?
The irritated mother strode quickly through the display, arriving as Susan said, “I don’t really believe in Santa Claus. I’ll just tell my mother what I want for Christmas and I’m sure she’ll get it for me, if it’s reasonable.” With that the girl slid off his lap.
“I’d like to see you in my office when you finish for the day, please,” Rose said with a plastic smile. She took Susan’s hand and whirled to stalk off when she felt a warm hand on her arm.
“Now, Rose, I know you don’t want Susan believing in Fairy Tales, but Jimmy and I were supposed to meet you and Susan here for lunch anyway. Since we were early, I didn’t see any harm in letting the children Give Santa their wish list.”
At quarter after six that evening Kris Kringle found himself outside the office of the Vice President of Walker’s Department store. He knocked smartly on the door and was welcomed inside where he saw a frowning Rose Walker sitting behind a mahogany desk with a file in her hand. Also in her office was John Banner the administrator of Oak Park Retirement Community that Kris called home.
“You asked to see me, Ms Walker?”
“Yes, come in Kris,” she said looking rather like she’d just swallowed something bitter. She exchanged a glance with Banner before proceeding. “I’ve just been reviewing your file, Mr. Kringle, and I’m a bit concerned by some of the information that you’ve written here. You do realize that falsifying information on your employment application is grounds for termination, don’t you?”
“Yes, you’ve listed your next of kin as ‘Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen’, and so on… I’m sure you realize…” started the strawberry-blonde.
“Hold on a minute,” interrupted Banner, “I realize that you’re thinking about the fictional reindeer here, but Kris has a very nice fish tank in his rooms and he’s named his fish after them. I know it’s a little unconventional, but in a way, they are his next of kin.” Banner gave Rose a winning smile.
“I see, well there’s still the matter of…”
“Kris is harmless, Ms Walker. He loves Christmas and everything to do with it. He’s just gotten a little carried away, that’s all. ‘Tis the Season' and all that, can’t you just overlook it this once?”
Sighing Rose said, “Well, it seems that my Father would agree with Mr. Banner on this one. He heard about you sending customers to other stores and loved the idea Kris. He wants to do a whole ad campaign around you and wants you to keep up the good work.”
“Good, then it’s all settled. The only thing that concerns me,” replied Banner, “is how far it is from Oak Park to hear. I’d rather Kris not have to travel that distance every day.”
“Hmm,” mussed Rose, “I know someone who may have the room to put you up through Christmas. I’ll give her a call.” Rose picked up her phone and dialed a familiar number. When it was answered her green eyes lit, “Morgan…”
The next week, Kris and Morgan sat in the Walker living room after a nice meal. It had become common for the two women to have each other and their children over for dinner and it was only natural to include Kris in on the invitation as he was staying on the sofa bed in Morgan’s spare room/office. The two children had been playing on the rug in front of the blazing fireplace since dinner. Rose glanced at the clock and gave a start. “Goodness… look at the time. Susan, it’s time for bed.”
“It’s time for Freddie to head to bed too,” said Morgan. “I guess we should head home,” she finished with a sigh.
I don’t want her to go, Rose thought. Hmm. “You know, Morgan, Susan’s got those bunk beds in her room. I don’t know why on earth she wanted them, but they’re both made up. Why not let Freddie sleep in there tonight?”
“Oh, please, Mom? C’n I please stay?” begged Jimmy, dancing around the room.
Morgan studied Rose’s face for a moment before saying, “Well, if you’re sure…”
“I’m sure. It won’t be any trouble.”
“Alright then you can stay, Freddie.”
The boy in question ran to his mother and threw his arms around her neck giving her a big hug. “Thanks Mom.”
Kris stood up. “Why don’t I get Jimmy’s pajamas and see the children to bed? You two ladies stay here and… talk.” And with that he headed out.
After a few minutes, both Susan and Jimmy were changed and in their respective bunks. Kris looked at them smiling and asked if they’d like him to tell them a bedtime story. Jimmy readily agreed, but Susan was reluctant.
“Oh, that’s right, Susan, you don’t like fairy tales and most bedtime stories are exactly that.” Kris thought for a moment. “I’ll tell you what. I’m going to tell the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and you can imagine that it’s a boy I’m talking about instead of a reindeer. How’s that?” When Susan agreed, Kris launched into the story.
“And so, with a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck, Rudolph got his wish to lead my… Santa’s Sleigh,” finished Kris with a flourish. “So, Susan, do you have a Christmas Wish?”
When it looked like Susan wouldn’t answer, Jimmy piped up, “C’mon Susan. You know what you want. Why don’t you show him? Couldn’t hurt, could it?”
With a sigh, Susan reached under her mattress and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Kris reached out a hand, but Susan held the paper back. “It’s just a silly wish, I guess. I know you’re not really Santa Claus, so you couldn’t get it for me anyway.”
“Oh, let me be the judge of that,” replied Kris, eyes twinkling. Susan handed over the paper and Kris carefully unfolded it and when he finally saw what was on the paper his eyes grew round.
Susan saw his reaction, and sighed again. “See. I told you that you wouldn’t be able to get it for me,” she said, holding back the tears that were suddenly threatening.
“There, there, Susan,” said Kris patting Susan’s arm. “I admit that a house in the suburbs is a tall order, but what would a girl like you want with a full size house all by yourself?”
“It’s not just for me,” Susan sniffed. “It’s for Mother and… for Mother and me.”
A clue walked up and hit Kris on the side of the head. “Jimmy, what do you want for Christmas?”
“Besides getting’ my Mom to call me Jimmy?” he muttered, then, blushed. “Um… well… it’s kinda the same thing as Susan.” He paused, then rushed on, “Ya see, even though she’s got me… and you, now… my Mom’s real lonely… and I’d like for her to find… find a grownup to be with too.”
Kris grinned from ear to ear. “And do you have someone in mind for your Mom?”
Jimmy visibly gulped before answering quietly, “Yes.”
“This is cozy,” mussed Morgan. “Now all we need is some Chestnuts Roasting on a Open Fire.”
“Oh, you,” laughed Rose bumping shoulders with the raven-haired woman. She turned to say something else to her friend and their eyes locked.
Morgan thought she could see something in the green-eyed gaze. She lifted a hand and tenderly cupped Rose’s cheek. The petite blonde leaned into the touch, never breaking eye contact. It’s now or never, thought Morgan. “Rose… I know that Jack hurt you when you caught him… the way you did.” She paused as the petite blonde flinched, but her gaze never wavered. “I know that you thought you had the perfect marriage until that day… A fairy tale wedding in fact, and that’s why you’ve taught Susan not to believe in fairy tales… but I’m not Jack…”
“No, you’re not,” breathed Rose reaching up to brush a lock of hair out of Morgan’s blue eyes.
“Rose, I…” she paused trying to slow her wildly beating heart. “I… care for you very much.” She couldn’t do it, couldn’t say those three little words, too afraid of rejection. Chickenshit, she berated herself, mentally slapping herself upside the head.
Rose gazed into the sky blue eyes in front of her and came to a realization with a start. “I love you too, Morgan.” With those words, Rose leaned in and gently kissed Morgan for the first time.
When the kiss broke the raven-haired woman pulled back slightly, foreheads still touching, to say, “I love you, Rose, with all of my heart.” She leaned in for another kiss and was heartened when she felt Rose open her mouth in invitation.
Kris came around the corner into the living room and saw the two women in front of the hearth. He came to an abrupt halt. Ooo, looks like Jimmy may just get his wish. Now all I have to do is work on Susan’s. Quiet as a church mouse, Kris crept to the door and let himself out on his way back to Morgan’s apartment.
Kris was just leaving the store for the short walk home, through the gently falling snow, on the Friday before Christmas when he heard a noise in a nearby alley. He walked over to investigate and was surprised to find two young men beating a third, one wielding a discarded broom handle or something else that resembled a billy club. He yelled at them to stop.
One of the men whirled to face Kris flicking open a switchblade in the process. “Oh, yeah, Pops? Whatcha gonna do?”
Without thought, Kris brought his cane down forcefully on the wrist holding the knife. Crack! The knife skittered to the ground. “Hey!” yelled the hooligan. Kris raised his cane again and thwacked him on the other arm. He lifted it again to deal another blow, but the young man covered his head and took off running, bumping into his companion and tripping down the alley. The other man turned his head to see what was going just in time to get Kris’ cane across his back. He wisely decided it wasn’t worth the effort and took off, Dashing Through the Snow.
Kris was still standing there arm upraised when running footsteps came up behind him. “Halt, you’re under arrest!”
“Why’d you do it, Kris?” asked Morgan Gaily stripping off her scarf and gloves in the police interrogation room.
“But I didn’t do it. I didn’t attack that young man,” said a confused Kris.
“No. I know that. I mean, why did you resist arrest, and threaten the officer with your cane?” She mentally added up the amount of potential prison time and shook her head grimly.
“They had no right to arrest me,” Kris said defensively. “I didn’t do anything. As for the cane, I didn’t threaten them. I was still holding it up at that hooligan when the officers came up. I turned around in reflex when they yelled at me. That was a simple misunderstanding.”
“Oookaaayy,” Morgan exhaled. “Then why did you keep insisting that you’re Santa Claus?”
“Because I am.” The simple truth.
“Kriiiiissss…” Morgan blew out a breath. “There is no Santa Claus.”
“Now, now, Ms Gaily. Didn’t Jimmy say you taught him to always tell the truth?”
“Freddie, and of course I have,” she spluttered.
“He’d really like it if you call him Jimmy. He loves his grandfather, but doesn’t want to use the same name right now,” said Kris gently.
“What does Fre… I mean Jimmy have to do with this?”
“Haven’t you told Jimmy that there’s a Santa Claus?”
“Well… he’s just a little boy. Children are supposed to believe in Santa Claus…”
“You’ve always taught your son to tell the truth. You’ve taught him to believe you. And you’ve told him there is a Santa Claus. So, what reason is there to believe that I’m not him? Hmmm?”
“Kris, did you ever consider a career as an attorney?” Morgan asked shaking her head. “They’re calling for a competency hearing on Monday. Do you really want me to go in there and prove that you’re Santa? I’m not even a defense attorney. I could get you in touch with a really good one…”
“Thank you, but I would prefer if you represent me,” Kris answered calmly. “I know you’ll think of something.”
The phone rang, District Attorney Velasca Polarski answered it. She listened briefly and then shouted, “You want me to try Santa Claus for assault?”
There was a loud crash and the auburn haired woman looked up to see her wife and six-year-old son, Tommy, standing in the doorway with a spilled breakfast tray in front of him. Her son broke into tears and ran out of the room.
“Jesus! You made my son cry. Do we really have to do this?” she asked. She listened for a few minutes then slammed the phone down on the hook. “Damn!” she looked at her wife and said, “Sorry, I’ll go check on Tommy,” and hurried out of the room.
Sunday night found Susan and Jimmy in the Gailey apartment with their mothers. Both children were quiet, upset that Kris was in jail for something he didn’t do.
“But Mom,” piped Jimmy, “You’re gonna get him out, right?”
“Yes dear. We have to have faith that the court will set Kris free.”
“Ok,” Jimmy answered. He got up and motioned Susan into the office. He reached into one of the desk drawers and pulled out some paper.
“What’s this for?” she asked her friend.
“I’m gonna write a letter to Kris,” answered the blue-eyed boy.
Green eyes blinked back at him. “Good idea,” she said reaching for her own piece.
Dear Mr. Kringle,
Ms Gailey says that we have to have faith that you will be set free. I’m writing to tell you that I have faith. I believe you. I believe that you really are Santa Claus, and I know that you will be free in time to deliver all those presents on Christmas Eve.
The next morning on their way out to school the two children dropped their letters addressed to the County Court House in the mailbox.
“All rise for the Honorable Judge Ephiny Davis,” intoned the court bailiff.
The judge swept in, black robes billowing behind her. “Court is convened to determine the competency of one… Kris Kringle…” She shook her curly blond locks. She’d read the pre-trial briefing on this and still couldn’t believe that she’d been saddled with this case.
DA Polarski stood up straightening her impeccable tailored suit jacket. “I’d like to call Kris Kringle to the stand.”
Kris got up and strolled to the witness box and was sworn in. “Before we begin,” interrupted Ephiny, “I’d like to explain to the witness that this is a hearing, not a trial. You don’t have to answer any questions against you wishes. You don’t even have to testify at all.”
Morgan stood up, “We have no objection your honor.”
Kris smiled at the judge and said, “Oh, I’ll be glad to answer any question that I can.”
Ephiny’s face fell. So much for a quick, easy hearing, she thought.
Velasca looked at the witness and said, “What is your name.”
The DA looked around waiting for a reaction. Receiving none, she asked, “Where do you live?”
“That is what this hearing will decide,” replied Kris with another smile.
There was laughter in the courtroom, when it subsided Ephiny said, “A very sound answer Mr. Kringle.”
Velasca leaned over the witness box in a manner designed to be intimidating, “Do you believe that you are Santa Claus?”
Kris answered very seriously, “Of course.”
The DA wracked her brain for any other questions to follow that one, and with a sad expression plastered on her face said, “The state rests your honor.”
“Well, Ms Gailey, do you wish to cross-examine the witness? My paperwork says he was employed to ‘play’ Santa Claus. Maybe he didn’t understand the question…” Ephiny said hopefully.
“Oh, I understood the question perfectly, your honor,” quipped Kris.
Standing, Morgan said, “No further questions at this time.”
“I see,” said the judge running her hands through her curly hair. “In view of this statement, do you still wish to put in a defense?”
Morgan stood again and said “I do, your honor,” as she approached the bench. “I’m well aware of my client’s opinions. In fact, that’s the state’s entire case against him. They say that Mr. Kringle is not sane because he believes himself to be Santa Claus.”
“A very reasonable and logical assumption, Ms Gailey,” Ephiny replied.
“It would be if you, Ms Polarski, or I believed that we are Santa Claus.”
Velaska interrupted, “Anyone who thinks he’s Santa Claus is insane.”
Turning to face her opponent, Morgan calmly stated, “Not necessarily.” She turned back to Ephiny. “You believe yourself to be Judge Davis, but no one questions your sanity because you are Judge Davis.”
“I know who I am, Ms Gailey. Mr. Kringle is the subject of this hearing.”
“Yes, your honor, and if he is the person he believes himself to be, then he is by default sane, correct your honor?” the raven-haired woman asked with a smile.
“Granted, but he isn’t.” Ephiny let out a frustrated breath.
“Oh, but he is, your honor.”
“Is what?” asked a flustered judge.
Entirely serious, Morgan said, “I intend to prove that Mr. Kringle is Santa Claus.”
Ephiny’s eyes went wide at this and Velasca burst out, “She’s crazy too!”
Rose opened her door to see a smiling Morgan standing there.
“What are we celebrating,” asked Rose.
Morgan handed her a paper, “Read all about it. ‘Gailey drops bombshell in Boston Court’.”
“Yes, I read that,” the blonde answered handing over a different paper.
“Oh, I didn’t see this one. Front page. Not bad,” quipped the raven-haired woman walking into the living room and sitting down.
“Morgan, you can’t really be serious about this?”
“Of course I am. I intend to prove that Kris is Santa Claus.”
“You can’t possibly prove it.”
“It’s the best defense I can come up with. It’s logical and completely unexpected.”
“And completely idiotic,” Rose whispered so as not to upset the children who were playing in another room. “What about your father and the other partners at your firm? What do they say?”
“That I’m jeopardizing the reputation of an old prestigious law firm and either I drop this case immediately or they’ll drop me. I beat them to it and I quit,” Morgan finished smugly.
“What, Morgan, you can’t quit! It’s your family business.”
“Of course I can, Rose,” the blue-eyed woman said taking the petite blonde’s hand. “I owe it to Kris to see this through. We’ll think of something, have faith in me. Faith is something that tells you to believe, even when common sense tells you not to.”
“Please state your name, occupation, and how you know the defendant for the record,” said Morgan.
“Richard M. Walker,” said the witness. “I own the largest department store in the Boston area. Kris Kringle is my employee.”
“Do you believe him to be truthful and of sound mind?”
“I most certainly do,” answered Walker.
“Mr. Walker,” said Velasca standing up, “You are under oath. Do you really believe Kris to be Santa Claus?”
Richard Walker started to answer, but clamped his jaw shut, visions of newspaper headlines flashing through is brain. “Yes. Yes, I do,” he finally replied, to the laughter of the court room.
As Walker left the stand, the DA jumped up and said, “Your Honor, I object to the line of testimony. It’s irrelevant and ridiculous. Ms Gailey is making a circus out of this court. There is no Santa Claus and everyone knows it.”
“I submit, your honor, that it is merely a matter of opinion. Can Ms Polarski disprove the existence of Santa Claus?”
“No, and I do not intend to. Your honor, the state requests an immediate ruling: Is there or is there not a Santa Claus?”
Ephiny swallowed, not liking the question one bit. She closed her eyes and rubbed the bridge of her nose to soothe a growing headache. She couldn’t say that there wasn’t a Santa Claus, could she? Finally, she sighed and said, “This court intends to keep an open mind.”
“Your honor, can the defense really submit any evidence that this man is in fact Santa Claus?”
“Yes ma’am, I can. I call Thomas Polarski to the stand.”
Velasca spun around to see her son skipping up to the stand and her wife holding up a subpoena. “Hi, Mama,” said Tommy.
As Morgan lifted Tommy over the rail into the witness box, Ephiny looked down at him and asked, “Tommy, do you know the difference between telling the truth and telling a lie?”
“Geez… everybody knows you should always tell the truth, especially in court,” answered Tommy to the laughter of the courtroom.
“Proceed, Ms Gailey.”
Crouching down to the boy’s level, Morgan asked, “Tommy, Do you believe in Santa Claus?”
“Of course I do. He gave me a brand new collapsible scooter last year.”
Morgan smiled and asked, “What does he look like.”
“He’s right over there,” said Tommy pointing at Kris.
“Tell me, Tommy,” started Morgan hiding a smile, “why are you so sure there’s a Santa Claus?”
“Because my Mama told me so. Didn’t you, Mama?” This time the courtroom broke out in raucous laughter for several minutes.
Velasca nodded at her son’s question.
Gotcha. Morgan smiled, “and you believe your Mama, don’t you? She’s an honest woman, isn’t she?”
“Of course she is. My Mama wouldn’t tell me anything that wasn’t true.”
“Thank you Tommy,” said Morgan lifting him out of the witness box.
“G’bye, Mama,” said Tommy waggling his fingers at his mother.
“The state concedes the existence of Santa Claus, but not that this man,” she pointed at Kris, “is said individual. We do, however ask that Ms Gailey desist bringing in personal opinions. The state could bring in hundreds of individuals to state the contrary. I now request that Ms Gailey submit authoritative proof that Mr. Kringle is the one-and-only Santa.”
“Agreed,” stated the Judge. “Ms Gailey are you prepared to present such evidence?”
“Not at this time, your honor,” said a slightly downcast Morgan.
“Alright, this court is in recess until 2pm this afternoon,” Ephiny said banging her gavel.
“Hey, Sol! Lookit this,” called Eponin who was manually sorting envelopes that the computers couldn’t read.
Solari walked over to her friend and asked, “What’s up?”
“I’ve seen all kinds, but this is a first. We’ve been workin’ here for years and I’ve seen kids writing to Santa all over the world, sometimes with ‘North Pole’, and sometimes just his name, but here’s two that are addressed to Santa Claus at the County Court House!”
“Don’t you watch the news, Pony?” asked Sol.
“Nope, too depressing… Don’t want me to go ‘Postal’, do ya?” Pony answered with a grin.
“Course not,” replied Solari punching her friend lightly on the arm. “But it’s all over the news. They got some guy on trial over at the court house that says he’s Santa.”
“Hey, Sol…” Eponin said, a grin tugging at the corners of her mouth. “We’ve got a lot of these over in the dead letter office, huh,” she asked holding up the two envelopes.
“Yup. We’ve got thousands! Just piled up – undeliverable… hey, wait a minute… are you thinking what I’m thinking?” asked the taller woman.
“You got it, partner,” said Pony grabbing her friend’s arm, “let’s go clear us some room!”
Morgan was just taking her seat after lunch. She was in a bit of a panic as she hadn’t come up with anything over the lunch recess. There was a tap on her arm and one of the bailiffs motioned her to the court room doors, so the raven-haired woman got up and walked out. When she returned several minutes later she was smiling ear to ear. She handed the two letters from Susan and Jimmy to Kris.
Ephiny banged her gavel to call the court back into session. “Ms Gailey are you ready to proceed?”
“I am, your honor,” Morgan answered, then launched into a bunch of statistics regarding the US Post Office.
Velasca rolled her eyes, and interrupted, “Your honor, the State of Massachusetts applauds the fine work of the US Postal System, but begs to know why we are discussing it in this hearing?”
Morgan cleared her throat. “Your honor the USPS is a duly constituted office of the US Government. There are Regulations that make it a Federal Offense to willfully misdirect US Mail, and the department uses every available precaution to insure that it is delivered correctly. Therefore I submit these two letters,” Morgan paused and turned to view the entire courtroom, “these two letters that were delivered here to this courtroom as evidence that the USPS recognizes Kris Kringle as Santa Claus. These letters have no other form of address other than ‘Santa Claus’ but were delivered here by bona fide members of the US Post Office. I submit that the… ”
“Ah, your honor, two letters hardly constitute proof,” interrupted DA Polarski.
“Your honor,” laughed Morgan, “I have other proof.”
“Put it right here, Ms Gailey,” said Ephiny tapping the bench.
“Are you sure,” Morgan asked with a twinkle in her eye.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
Morgan turned and motioned to the back of the courtroom. The bailiff opened the doors and a parade of USPS employees came in carrying bags and bags of letters. They came to the front of the courtroom and began pouring the letters onto the Judge’s bench. As the pile grew higher, Ephiny began searching for her gavel. Finding it under a pile that was now a foot high, she swept an area of the bench clean and banged it once. “Case dismissed!”
The next morning was Christmas and the Walkers and Gaileys found themselves at the Oak Park Retirement Community Christmas party. Susan, Jimmy, and the other visiting children clustered around the tree. They were searching through the presents looking for their names.
After a while, a dejected Susan walked over to her mother, who was just saying to another woman, “At least we have a White Christmas.”
“I didn’t get it,” sighed Susan.
“There are lots of presents under the tree. What didn’t you get?” asked the blonde mother.
“It doesn’t matter. I mean, I knew it wouldn’t be there, but I thought there’d at least be a letter telling me why…” Susan trailed off.
As she was finishing, Kris walked up, “I don’t suppose you even want to talk to me?”
“It’s ok, Mr. Kringle, I know you couldn’t get it because you’re not the real Santa Claus.”
“Oh, but he is Susan, you’ve got to believe,” Rose explained.
“But that doesn’t make sense Mother.”
“You’ve got to have faith. Faith is something that tells you to believe, even when common sense tells you not to,” Rose said this with conviction and gave her daughter a hug.
Kris smiled and walked over to Morgan. “There will probably be a lot of traffic out there this afternoon.”
“Most likely,” Morgan replied, grinning at her son who was playing with a new toy.
“I’ve taken the liberty of writing down directions for an alternate route back to the city that should cut off a lot of the traffic.”
“Oh, thanks, Kris,” the tall woman, now watching Rose and fingering something in her pocket, answered absently.
Susan sat in Morgan Gailey’s blue Mustang convertible leaning her head against the back window. She kept repeating “I believe” under her breath like a mantra. Morgan made a right turn onto a beautiful residential street, when suddenly Susan cried, “That’s it! Ms Gailey, stop the car! Stop the car, please!”
Concerned that maybe Susan was feeling ill, Morgan did as requested. No sooner had she stopped the car than Susan threw her door open and dashed out of the car. She raced across a snow covered lawn and ran into a house with a ‘For Sale’ sign on the lawn.
“Susan,” called Rose who took off after her daughter. “Susan, you mustn’t trespass.” Morgan and Jimmy followed at a more sedate pace smiling at the suddenly excited Susan’s antics.
Rose came through the front door of the house just as Susan raced up the stairs, “I’m going to go check out my room!”
“Susan, come down here this instant!”
Jimmy started wandering through the downstairs as Morgan came up behind Rose and placed a comforting hand on her back.
“Oh, Mother, it’s just like I knew it would be,” exhaled Susan running back down the stairs and following Jimmy into the living room. “I asked Kris for a house just exactly like this!”
“Oooo, look, Susan!” shouted Jimmy pointing at an old sled leaning just inside a set of French doors. “Let’s go for a Sleigh Ride!” He grabbed the sled and the two children raced out the back door.
The two women stood slack-jawed staring after their children. Finally Rose asked, “What on Earth was all that about?”
“Apparently, from what Susan just said, she asked Kris for a house for Christmas,” Morgan answered leading her into the living room
“But Kris didn’t get this house for her…” Rose started.
Smiling Morgan turned to her and said, “No, but it is for sale.” Here goes, she thought. The raven-haired woman reached into her pocket and pulling out a small box she got slowly to one knee. “Rose Walker,” she opened the box to display a diamond ring, “I love you with all that I am.” She reached out and took the other woman’s hand. “You complete me. Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
“Oh, Morgan! Yes! Yes, I’ll marry you,” said a joyful Rose.
“Yes!” shouted Jimmy who had just come back in the house. He grabbed Susan’s hands and they started jumping around in a circle. “I knew he could do it! Santa can do anything!”
Rose pulled Morgan back up and into a tender embrace. They stood that way for several minutes, just holding each other.
“Uh… Rose,” stammered Morgan. “Do you see what I see?” she asked pointing at an ornately decorated cane leaning against the fireplace.
“No,” Rose said shaking her head. “It couldn’t be, could it?” she asked looking into her fiancée’s eyes.
“No, you’re right, there’s got to be hundreds of canes just like it…” her voice trailed off as she spied a note standing on the mantelpiece addressed to ‘Rose and Morgan’. On shaky legs they walked over to the fireplace and retrieved the note.
Rose and Morgan,
Susan asked me to get this house for her. I can’t give it to her, but I know that the two of you can, if you are willing. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
P.S. And Congratulations! I hope to receive an invitation to the wedding!
“Wha… bu… how…” Morgan spluttered. “Rose, I swear, I never said anything to him.”
“I know dear,” Rose answered with a smile. “But don’t forget, sweetheart, that Santa knows everything.” And with that she leaned in and gave the love of her life a kiss.
Based upon the original Miracle on 34th Street
Akiela Xal firstname.lastname@example.org
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